Climate Change

Should “national defence” be refocused?

A former regimental medical office in an artillery battalion points out that the foes Canada fights are increasingly non-military. Dr. Kevin Patterson suggests that the Canadian Armed Forces should build on its reputation for addressing domestic challenges. [node:read-more:link]

Australia dislikes European carbon plan

The European Commission’s new climate change initiative has drawn fire from Australia, one of the world’s largest resource exporters, which is particularly upset by a proposed surtax on carbon-intense imports such as steel and cement. “The last thing the world now needs is extra protectionist policies,” says Trade Minister Dan Tehan. Even though only four per cent of Australia’s exports go to Europe, he says the commission’s plan could set the stage for increased costs to export to major Asian markets. [node:read-more:link]

Europe throws down climate change gauntlet

The European Commission has set out a plan for achieving a carbon-neutral economy by mid-century, kicking off what is expected to be intense nationalistic negotiations between its 27 member states, their industries and the European parliament. It calls for, among other things, a shift away from fossil fuels by the end of this decade and tariffs on imports from countries with less ambitious climate agendas. [node:read-more:link]

Europe urged to decelerate ICE transition

A European Union plan to phase out sales of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2035 is facing pushback from France, which wants a more flexible approach and an extension for hybrid vehicles. French President Emmanuel recently met with company and union representatives to discuss an eventual transition to electric vehicles. [node:read-more:link]

High hopes for hydrogen

A business and environmental strategy designed to promote hydrogen as a renewable and low-carbon energy source has been rolled out by the B.C. government. Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation, said July 6 that short-term goals include regional supply hubs and measures to increase the numbers of medium and heavy-duty vehicles powered by hydrogen. His department estimates the gas could reduce the province’s annual carbon emissions by 7.2 million tonnes by 2050. [node:read-more:link]

Key government bills passed by Senate

The federal government’s omnibus budget implementation bill and a couple of key pieces of legislation were approved by the Senate only a few hours before adjourning June 29 for the summer. Other bills that cleared the Upper House included one to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century and another to amend the Broadcasting Act. [node:read-more:link]

Climate change impact on infrastructure alarming

The annual cost of dealing with natural disasters attributable to extreme weather now averages $1.9 billion or nearly five times as much as a decade ago, and Natural Resources Canada says current efforts to address the impact on infrastructure are “insufficient in the face of rapidly accumulating social and economic losses” and “the window to reduce increasingly severe impacts is rapidly closing.” [node:read-more:link]

Climate change to reshape the planet

A draft report prepared for the UN concludes that climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth, presenting major societal and strategic challenges in the coming decades even if greenhouse gases are tamed. It warns about, among other things, ecosystem collapse, species extinction, more disease and severe coastal flooding before mid-century. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. lauded for carbon tax policy

The World Economic Forum says putting a price on carbon-based fuels is an effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global pollution. Moreover, it says carbon taxation can generate significant revenues which then can be used to address the economic harm from fossil fuels. It cites, among others, British Columbia’s implementation of a tax in 2008 as “a textbook example” of how to tackle the issue. [node:read-more:link]

EU has “carbon leakage” in crosshairs

Only weeks before the European Union is expected to impose globally-unprecedented carbon dioxide emissions costs on some imports, including ferrous metals, aluminum and fertilizers, Canada and the other G7 countries agreed June 13 to work together to address the risk that some countries’ climate policies could compel companies to relocate. “We need to address carbon leakage to create (a) global level playing field,” European Council President Charles Michel explained. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey announces plan to tackle slimy "sea snot"

A thick slimy layer of organic mucilage has spread through the sea south of Istanbul, posing a threat to marine life and the fishing industry. Turkey’s environment minister announced plans to make the entire Sea of Marmara a protected area, reduce pollution and improve treatment of waste water from coastal cities and ships which has contributed to the sea snot spread. [node:read-more:link]

Global warming’s death toll

More than a third of the world's deaths attributable to “heat events” each year are directly related to global warming, according to new scientific analysis. In reviewing 1991-2018 data from 732 cities, the researchers say that even more deaths are due to other extreme weather events. [node:read-more:link]

Geopolitics undermining critical research

The global pandemic has proven the value of international research cooperation but are geopolitical tensions, notably between the U.S. and China, undermining that process? It’s argued that all sides need to strike a balance that safeguards the rewards of cooperation because other global issues such as climate change, environmental degradation and disease require it. [node:read-more:link]

Petroleum industry ruling unprecedented?

In what is being described as a precedent-setting judgment, Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered by a court in The Netherlands to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions in that country by 45 per cent from 2019 levels by 2030. A spokesman for the petroleum giant said it expects to appeal the ruling in the case brought by Friends of the Earth along with six other organizations and thousands of Dutch citizens. [node:read-more:link]

Space: the crowded frontier

Canadian researchers warn that new constellations of thousands of small communications satellites pose a growing hazard in low earth orbit, threatening other satellites, astronauts and possibly even the planet’s climate. [node:read-more:link]


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